Tears of frankincense are nothing to cry about –unless they are the waterworks of pure elation.
Essential oil of Frankincense is an elixir derived from the bark of several Boswellia trees. Resins from the bark is scraped and dried, naturally forming tear-shaped chunks of resin. This resin is responsible for one of the world’s first pure forms of incense. Its ancient use can be traced to the Babylonians, and continued with a passion among the Egyptians, and Hebrews. It perfumed the Middle East since the beginning of recorded human history, and continued its venerable journey through ancient Europe, the Middle Ages, and Renaissance, into modernity’s distillations. Today, Frankincense is still used as a fixative in many perfumes with Asian, woodsy, or spicy personalities.
Frankincense is a mainstay of the Christmas holidays, often combined with myrrh, orange and cinnamon oils. The New Testament tells us that the Magi (three magic men) brought the infant Jesus treasurable gifts, which included the precious embalming resins of frankincense and myrrh.
Precious drops of the oil now appear in fine skin care products, replaying ancient beauty secrets with many garden-fresh twists. Frankincense rejuvenates, and when used on young skin, offers protection. Supremely calming, the essential oil is a mainstay in meditation. It also brings a layer of tranquility to stressed skin. While traditionally found in formulations for aging, dry, or wrinkled skin, it can also balance sebum, making it an unexpected treat for the oil-tortured or acne-prone. Despite this sebum-balancing property, it rarely appears in preparations for teen skin, perhaps because of it unfamiliar forest truffle scent and very posh price. As an anti-inflammatory, one can use the diluted oil on an array of zits and persistent scars. Frankincense was once only the stock of royalty and the otherwise affluent. And while its price-tag has come down some over the centuries, it still remains one of the most expensive essential oils. It serves as a balm for all skin types, including volatile combination varieties. It is even showing promise as a treatment for basal cancer cells. So, it is true − frankincense may pinch the pocketbook a wee jiff, but it is worth every aromatic penny.
Those using beauty products infused with frankincense become immediately aware of layers of aromatherapy benefits. These are not just hip, alluring smells that many drug and department store brands have engineered. Good smells, in general, tend to uplift us, but on a different biological plane. The brain processes natural and artificial scents, uniquely.
The scents of aromatherapy have primeval pathways to follow. Essential oils react directly on the limbic brain or “lizard brain,” our first and most primitive head central. The essential oils work on the limbic brain, causing endocrine stimulation. Common states engendered through aromatherapy encompass elation, wakefulness, relaxation, and/ or sexual arousal.
Therefore, cleansers, masques, serums, and the whole array of products we use to stay beautiful can bring other benefits to a skincare regime. Aside from relaxation, frankincense is also used in anti-depression blends. Its scent is considered warm and arboreal, and quite balsamic, a woodsy dark emerald fragrance with earthy, resinous overtones. It is the definition of true incense distilled into restorative droplets.